Don’t Miss the Indycar Japan 300
Indy League racing fans are no doubt looking forward to the upcoming Indycar Japan 300. Sponsored by Bridgestone, this American open-wheel race is held each year in Motegi, Japan. This year’s race will take place on Saturday, 19 April at Twin Ring Motegi.
American car races have not always been a popular activity in Japan. While the country has long enjoyed involvement in Formula One racing, it has taken quite a bit of effort to get open-wheel racing to become a regular feature on this country’s calendar. The first American open-wheel race to be held in Japan took place in 1966 at the Fuji Speedway. It was an exhibition race and a one-off event. The USAC did not return the following year and it was a long time before the possibility of returning racing activity to the shores of this country arose.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Japan was looked at as a potential CART series racing destination. However, there were various complications and new rules stated that any CART race outside of the country needed to be held on an oval. So it was only after Honda joined the CART series in 1994 that things started to pick up. When they became massively successful in 1996 there was once again interest in the idea of holding a race in Japan. Upon the completion of the Twin Ring Motegi oval in 1998, the first CART series race was held in Japan. This set a trend and the race was first changed to a Champ Car event and then to an Indy Racing League event.
Since 2007, the next race on American soil at the Kansas Speedway has taken place directly after the Bridgestone Indy Japan 300 so that fans do not have to suffer a break in their Indy racing season. The change was met with massive support, and now the 300 mile race at the Twin Ring Motegi oval is a well-founded and popular event on the annual Indy Racing League calendar. This year’s race looks set to be better than ever, so make sure you get in on all the action at this year’s Indycar Japan 300!